Don’t Hate Preaching (1 Thessalonians #24)

Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:20

Defining prophesying

  • Since you’re being told not to despise prophesying, let’s define what it means so we’ll know if we are or aren’t despising prophesyings.
  • 1 Corinthians 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
  • Publicly and clearly edifying, exhorting, and comforting the body of Christ
  • Edification – growth, establishing, strengthening
  • Exhortation – motivate right behavior – Acts 15:32 And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.
  • Comfort – to give peace and assurance, dissolve doubt – Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

Detesting prophesying

  • Reasons Christians will despise prophesyings.
  • It’s too personal
  • 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
    • Sometimes you will tell me after service that what was said had to do with something specific in your life that I didn’t know about.  That’s the gift of prophecy at work these days where the living word of God is preached and it ministers to the secrets of the heart.
    • Acts 7:54 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.
  • It’s not pleasurable
    • The body of flesh and blood that you are in hates preaching from God’s word.  Romans 7:21-24 – So the members of the body have to be forced to yield to what the inward man wants.  Romans 8:12-13 …not debtors to the flesh… so when the flesh hears preaching and the stomach starts saying, HEY GET THIS GUY TO SHUT UP SO I CAN EAT!  Your response to your flesh is, Look here flesh, I don’t owe you anything. I’m not in debt to you. I’m not obligated to feed you while the Spirit of God is trying to work.  But I am in debt to the Spirit of God from which I now have eternal life. So quit your growling, shut up, and you’re going to listen until the Spirit of God is done.
    • As a kid in church, I really never made any connection to preaching God’s word and my life.  So I’d just do other stuff while the preaching went on. At that point in my life I couldn’t blame the preacher for not preaching the Bible, even if it was someone preaching the Bible I probably wouldn’t have cared.
  • It’s not popular
    • This would be when a Christian is around other people and scorns the things of God because of the people they’re around.
    • Intimidated into scorning the words of God.
  • It’s not profitable
    • Sometimes upholding the words of God means a pay cut.
    • Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
    • The devil is willing to pay you to switch allegiance to your old carnal nature.  Luke 4:5-7.

Diminishing prophesying

  • We looked at the reasons, now here are some ways Christians despise prophesyings.
  • You say the messenger is no good
    • Christians will make it about the preacher.
    • Matthew 11:18-19 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.  The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.
  • You say there are better things to do
    • Christians avoid sermons.  Hold sermons in low esteem as compared to other things they’d like to do.
  • You are a hearer of the word, but not a doer of the word

Delighting in prophesying

  • When I really began to love the Lord, I also really came to love preaching.  Because I could see how the Lord was using the preaching to shape my life. Good decisions were being made under solid Bible preaching.  Decisions that I otherwise wouldn’t have thought about making. But because God was exposing my heart under Bible preaching, things were being addressed that needed to be addressed.
  • Prophesying is for your good.  Remember how prophesyings were defined at the beginning?
  • 1 Corinthians 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
  • Publicly and clearly edifying, exhorting, and comforting the body of Christ
  • Edification – growth, establishing, strengthening
  • Exhortation – motivate right behavior – Acts 15:32 And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.
  • Comfort – to give peace and assurance, dissolve doubt – Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;